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Sketches of New York
May 19, 2016

This post was written by Marybeth Kavanagh, Reference Archivist, Deptartment Of Prints, Photographs and Architectural Collections. Today there is nothing remarkable about the idea of New York as a large, diverse, cosmopolitan city. But to mid-19th century New Yorkers,  the rapid growth of New York  from a small, walkable city to a bustling, sprawling metropolis must have been a…

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The Declaration of Sentiments: “No more or less radical than the American Revolution”
March 31, 2016

This post was written by Maureen Maryanski, Reference Librarian for Printed Collections. As Women’s History Month draws to a close, let’s focus on one of the founding documents of American feminism: the Declaration of Sentiments. Drafted, debated, and signed during the first women’s rights convention at Seneca Falls, New York in July 1848, the Declaration…

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From the Lab: Ambrotypes Abound
March 16, 2016

This post was written by Sara Belasco, Enhanced Conservation Work Experience conservation assistant. For the last six months, I have been working on rehousing a collection of cased images in the Library collection. Almost all of these photographs are ambrotypes, one of the earliest photographic processes on glass plates popular in the 1850s. The collection was previously…

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N-YHS Institutional Archives Finding Aids Now On-line (Part 2)
January 21, 2016

This post was written by Project Archivist Larry Weimer. In Part 1 of this blog posted last week, I introduced N-YHS’ institutional archives project now underway thanks to a generous grant from the Leon Levy Foundation. Several finding aids are now online, and in this Part 2, I would like to give you a short…

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AHMC of the Month: Was he mad? The sensational Guiteau trial and the assassination of President Garfield
January 12, 2016

This post was written by AHMC cataloger Miranda Schwartz. A small, bright-red trial pass from the American Historical Manuscript Collection leads us to look back at a sensational 19th-century trial—that of Charles J. Guiteau, an unstable, itinerant bill collector and lawyer who assassinated President James A. Garfield just four months after his election. For years…

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“People generally are improving in their knowledge of good Tea”: 19th Century Americans & Tea
September 2, 2015

This post was written by Samantha Walsh, Reference Assistant in the Department of Prints, Photographs & Architectural Collections  On September 9, 1828, a member of the Townsend family attended a tea auction at Lippincott & Richards auction house in Philadelphia. While the purchase of tea by a New York merchant is not surprising, I was intrigued…

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“Little Ethiopians:” 19th Century Photography of African Americans
February 4, 2015

To kick off Black History Month, here is a cabinet card that has fascinated me ever since I stumbled across it in our Portrait File. Titled “Little Ethiopians,” it’s a composite of 21 portraits of African-American babies. The cabinet card was issued by Smith’s Studio of Photography in Chicago, Illinois, and bears an 1881 copyright…

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Spring Fashion, circa 1890’s
May 14, 2014

“Fashion is unfolding, just like nature,” reads the caption for a recent On the Street column by famed New York Times photographer Bill Cunningham (whose work is currently on exhibit at N-YHS).  Now that spring has finally arrived, we decided to take a look at seasonal fashion in New York over a hundred years ago….

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A Different Booth: William Henry Seward corresponds with Mary L. Booth
November 7, 2012

This post was written by Maureen Maryanski, Reference Librarian for General Collections. Where we start is not necessarily where we end. This statement is quite true of my research into William Henry Seward, prominent political figure and Secretary of State for Abraham Lincoln and Andrew Johnson. What started as an inquiry into his public life,…

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